KUALA LUMPUR: THE Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) will commercialise its own products based on research and development done by the agency after the passing and gazetting of the Forest Research Institute Act (Act 782) 2016 on Oct 1.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said prior to the passing of the act, the agency was doing research and development on forest products and selling the results to companies for minimal returns.
“Since the new law allows FRIM to manage its own company, sell its products and have its own business model, we will soon see FRIM products on store shelves,” he said.
Wan Junaidi said this would give the agency more comprehensive rights to market on its own and not to set aside FRIM’s main purpose, which is to research and develop Malaysia’s forest products.
“We want it to be a sustainable development that brings in income for the government and benefits the people.
“Five years from now, FRIM may commercialise its products,” he said at the launch of the new act at FRIM in Kepong yesterday.
The event also marked FRIM’s 31st anniversary. A Rimbathon run was held in conjunction with its anniversary and the National Sports Day.
More than 2,000 people attended the event, while more than 1,000 took part in the 6km run through the FRIM Rover Trail.
At the event, Junaidi said there were more than 15,000 species of plants in Malaysia with 36.8 per cent of them listed as endangered.
“If there is no conservation of these plants, they will cease to exist and future generations may not have a chance to study or see them.”
He said FRIM had an evaluated conservation status of 1,132 species of plants from 80 different types that consist of fern spikes and vascular plants.
As many as 417 or 36.8 per cent of plants are labelled as threatened, 111 or 9.8 per cent are critically endangered and 146 or 12.9 per cent are labelled as endangered plant species.
In its effort to conserve these plants, FRIM is working with state forestry departments in high conservation value forests, such as Kanching Forest Reserve in Selangor, Jerangau in Terengganu, and Setul in Negri Sembilan.
FRIM is also working with local universities, such as Universiti Teknologi Mara Perak, Universiti Teknologi Petronas and corporate body Felda Global Ventures in its conservation works.